Summer is the prime time for foodies – it’s all about seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh flavors, and finding ways to keep yourself from overheating. If you’re a vegan, you’re in luck, because summer is probably the best time of the year to be vegan!
The reason why vegan food is so perfect for summer is that it doesn’t contain dairy, meaning that most vegan dishes are light enough to keep you from feeling too hot and gross in summer.
Despite this, vegan meals are nutritious and filling, so you won’t feel too snackish after the meal.
Here are 15 amazing vegan summer recipes to make at home!
Pasta salads are the epitome of summer cuisine. If you’re craving carbs but it feels too hot to make a fresh bowl of pasta, a pasta salad will do the trick. Plus, they’re a great way to get your five-a-day in, too!
This vegan rainbow pasta salad is as flavorful as it is colorful, featuring a range of vegetables including tomatoes, red kidney beans, kale, red cabbage, bell peppers, onion, and garlic.
The flavors don’t stop there, because it’s the dressing that makes this pasta salad perfect for summer. Made of wine vinegar, tomato sauce, and a range of seasonings, this is a flavorful and refreshing lunch or dinner meal.
While everyone is delving into chicken wings, vegans have upped the game with cauliflower wings. Chicken wings are so easy to mess up, but cauliflower wings are almost always a success.
With a crispy and sticky exterior and juicy and tender insides, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with meat in the first place.
If game day is coming up, it’s time to make these sticky sesame cauliflower wings. These wings are ideal for summer game days, with their deliciously sticky sauce that is packed with flavor. Be prepared for some sticky fingers!
3. Vegan Burger
It’s not summer without burgers! While everyone is cooking their meat patties on the grill, it’s time to surprise your guests with these vegan burgers.
This recipe makes a great meat patty substitute, except it’s made of walnuts, chickpeas, tomato sauce, and a bunch of condiments and seasonings.
It might take a little extra time to form and cook the patties, but once you’ve nailed them, your guests will be desperate for another. Serve in a fluffy burger bun with your favorite fillings, including crunchy lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and a multitude of sauces.
A refreshing yet surprisingly filling vegan summer meal is spring rolls, which are perfect for lunch, a light dinner, or a side dish.
These spring rolls are packed with flavor, thanks to the tofu baked in soy sauce, the julienne raw vegetables, and the satisfyingly spicy yet sweet addition of the sriracha.
While they might look complex, the best thing about these spring rolls is that they are really easy to make. It might take a bit of practice with rolling the rice paper, but once you’ve got the hang of it, they’ll be a real hit.
5. Vegan Tacos
Tacos are ideal for summer, especially if you make a taco bar for everyone to tuck into. Turns out, vegan tacos aren’t all that different from non-vegan tacos – they just use black beans and vegan meat instead of actual meat!
These vegan tacos are fun and easy to make, and are perfect for building a taco bar at home. It’s a fun weeknight or weekend meal that allows everyone to make their perfect taco.
Plus, it’s a flexible recipe that encourages you to use whatever you can find in the store or your kitchen, so you can add and replace ingredients where necessary.
6. Vegan Pizza
Pizza is a real hit for those warm summer evenings, especially when the dough is fine and crispy. It feels light enough to keep you from overheating, but still satisfies your hunger and keeps you full for hours.
Instead of using vegan cheese (which isn’t the preferred option for some people), this recipe uses a blend of cashews as the base. The toppings are the real highlight, featuring a range of delicious vegetables that roast to a beautiful crisp in the oven.
Stuffed peppers are the best go-to weeknight meal if you can’t be bothered to properly cook after a busy day at work.
Not only are they easy to make, but stuffed peppers are incredibly tasty and very nutritious, which is great for filling your family up with goodness! Not only this, but stuffed peppers are great for lunch, too.
These vegan stuffed peppers feature a filling of mushrooms, zucchini, squash, tempeh, and rice – though you can always substitute ingredients for whatever you’ve already got. Sprinkle over some vegan cheese for a tasty crunch.
Sometimes, it’s just far too hot to cook and eat a hot, filling meal. If the heat has suppressed your appetite, you need to try this Moroccan spiced vegetable couscous.
Not only is this an incredibly tasty and refreshing dish, but it’s also packed with nutrition from the range of vegetables.
The best part about this couscous is that you can add whatever vegetables you have available. It can also be eaten either warm or cool, so it’s great for prepping in the early evening to have cold at night!
Chickpeas are the unsung hero of the vegan diet. Not only are they tasty and incredibly versatile, but they’re an excellent source of protein, which is why this salad is the perfect pick-me-up during the heat of summer.
A chickpea salad is similar to just a regular salad, except with chickpeas as the main base of the dish instead of lettuce. With a dressing made up of olive oil and lemon juice, this Mediterranean-inspired salad is packed with flavor and goodness.
For extra flavor, you can also add vegan cheese or sultanas.
Buddha bowls are the perfect meal for summer, whether it’s for a filling lunch or dinner.
While they’re technically meant to be filled with cohesive ingredients, Buddha bowls are designed for creativity and improvisation, so feel free to use up whatever ingredients you have in the kitchen!
Not only are Buddha bowls filling and tasty, but they’re also packed with nutrition.
This is ideal for those warm summer days when you feel too hot to eat a hearty meal. The addition of the turmeric tahini sauce is the perfect way to bring the flavors together, too.
When the temperature drops in the summer evening, a lovely way to round off the warm day is with a bowl of pasta.
This vegan pasta dish features delicious summer vegetables, including zucchini, tomatoes, artichoke halves, and olives, all encompassed in a refreshing and tasty tomato sauce.
The real star of this pasta dish is the sauce, made up of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, tomatoes, garlic, chili flakes, and parsley. It’s refreshing and filling at the same time, and 100% vegan.
When it’s just too hot to have a dessert, but you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, you need to try these amazing piña colada ice lollies.
These boozy ice lollies are the perfect treat after a barbecue, while the kids are running around the backyard burning off the energy from the food.
This recipe features just four ingredients – rum, pineapple, maple syrup, and coconut milk – making for a creamy and refreshing ice lolly. They are also a fantastic way to cool down during the day!
13. Vegan Lemon Tart
Another fantastic dessert idea for summer is a lemon tart. Lemon tarts are beautifully light and refreshing, while filling enough to satiate any sweet cravings.
This recipe only uses six ingredients and is super easy to make, which is ideal for those who aren’t well-versed in baking desserts.
The best part about this tangy lemon tart is that you’ve probably already got the ingredients in your pantry already.
A great way to keep yourself hydrated and get your five-a-day intake is with a refreshing summer fruit salad. This fruit salad features in-season fruits, so now’s your chance to hit up the produce section and create a delicious and hydrating dessert!
The addition of lime juice and mint leaves is what makes this an interesting and flavorful fruit salad. Perfect for game day or a barbecue!
It’s not summer without a cooling slushie. This strawberry lemonade slushie recipe is perfect for kids and adults alike, providing a fruity, sweet, and satisfyingly tangy drink that will keep you hydrated and cool in the heat.
Plus, it’s only made of four ingredients – strawberries, lemon, maple syrup, and mint – and doesn’t contain any refined sugar!
So, there you have it! Summer is the perfect time to experiment with vegan dishes, and hopefully this guide has given you some inspiration on what to make for lunch and dinner during the hot season.